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Archive For September, 2011

Nintendo's History of Handheld Systems, In The Form Of Postcards

September 30, 2011 11:00 PM | Matthew Hawkins

nintendohistoryofhandheld.jpg

Time once again for US Nintendo Club members to celebrate: yet another goodie from the Japanese side of things is available here.

This time it's a series of twelve post cards that detail 30+ years of Nintendo's portable hardware. Starting with the Game & Watch, and ending with 3DS.

The Virtual Boy though is conspicuously absent. Then again, I guess it technically doesn't count. A set will cost Club members 300 coins.

As Tiny Cartridge notes, that's quite the mark up when compared to what's being asked in Japan. Great. Not only is the American dollar super weak, but so are American Nintendo Club coins. Just wonderful...

The Humble Frozen Synapse Bundle Brings Back The Humble FrozenByte Bundle, Plus Trauma

September 30, 2011 9:00 PM | Matthew Hawkins

Yet another Humble Bundle is here, and this one's built around just one single game: Frozen Synapse. And while being able to nab the acclaimed simultaneous turn-based strategy game for as little as a penny is already a bargain, the Humble Bundle folks can't help but sweeten the deal.

Much like they did with the Humble Indie Bundle #3, which was to include everything from the Humble Indie Bundle #2, the entirety of the Humble FrozenByte Bundle is also part of the package.

Which again covers Trine, Shadowgrounds, Shadowgrounds: Survivor, a pre-order for Splot, and the Jack Claw prototype (the full game has since been cancelled). Furthermore, a bonus title has just been added: Trauma.

Nominated for three IGF awards back in 2010, it combines classic point and click adventuring sensibilities and an innovative use of photography and gesture based gameplay. Be sure to check out our interview with the game's creator, Krystian Majewski, from last year.

Life of George Combines Augmented Reality And Legos

September 30, 2011 7:00 PM | Matthew Hawkins

Coming to both the App Store and physical toy stores tomorrow is Life of George from Lego. It combines alternative reality gaming plus real world building skills in one convenient and fun looking package.

The player's task is to re-create an image on the iPhone or iPod Touch with the blocks provided, and on a mat that's essentially a green screen. Once completed, the player takes a picture via the iOS device's camera. A score is given, one that's based upon speed and accuracy.

Life of George is 12 levels long and built around the title character, who's "a software engineer by day and an adventurer by night" according to Macworld. Each covers 10 different models that can be played solo or in multiplayer.

There will also be a mode called "My Life" in which players are encouraged to come up with their own models and which can be saved via the virtual scrapbook. The app will be free, whereas the physical components will be sold for $23.

Best Of Indie Games: Artistic Games

September 30, 2011 5:00 PM | Tim W.

[Every week, IndieGames.com: The Weblog editor-in-chief Tim W. will be summing up some of the top free-to-download and commercial indie games from the last seven days on his sister 'state of indie' weblog.]

This week on 'Best Of Indie Games', we take a look at some of the top independent PC Flash/downloadable titles released over this last week.

The delights in this edition include a first-person shooter developed by a group of ex-AAA industry veterans, a tough vertical platformer about climbing to the top of a castle, a roguelike implementation of Namco's arcade classic Pac-Man, plus a an odd recreation of a museum performance piece.

Here's the highlights from the last seven days:

Game Pick: 'Hard Reset' (Flying Wild Hog, commercial indie)
"In Hard Reset you play as Major Fletcher as he attempts to stop an army of nasty robots from destroying the last human city on the planet. It's cyberpunk, it's sci-fi, and it's a balls to the wall blast-fest that will see you holding the trigger down more often than not."

Game Pick: 'Climb to the Top of the Castle' (Two Bros Games, commercial indie)
"In Climb to the Top of the Castle you're a knight who is tasked with saving a princess by bashing lots of metal with your sword, and most likely falling to your death a fair few times. Indeed, given that the game is all about scaling heights, unsurprisingly one false move can see your lives count quickly reducing."

Game Pick: 'Phone Story' (Molleindustria, commercial indie)
"Molleindustria, the devs behind the likes of Every Day the Same Dream and Inside a Dead Skyscraper, would like you to stop for a moment and think about where your smartphone came from. Taking the form of four minigames, Phone Story follows the journey of your phone from its conception as raw materials to its assembly."

Game Pick: 'Netpack' (Jamey DeOrio, freeware)
"Netpack is a roguelike implementation of Namco's arcade classic Pac-Man, modified by Jamey to include turn-based movement, combat, character stats, and an inventory system to keep track of the fruits you've collected."

Game Pick: 'Super Smash Land' (Dan Fornace, freeware)
"Super Smash Land features a handful of the original characters and stages, along with both the campaign and versus modes. Also, it looks bloody amazing, and handles excitingly well."

Game Pick: 'Glissaria' (Arkeus, browser)
"Glissaria is a tower defense game at heart, drawing a lot of inspiration from the RPG and match-5 genres. There are resources that must be gathered, colourful tiles to be sorted, slimes to kill, towers to upgrade."

Game Pick: 'The Artist is Present' (Pippin Barr, browser)
"The Artist is Present is an odd recreation of a performance piece by Marina Abramović, where the artist sits still in the center of a museum's atrium while visitors take turn occupying the seat on the opposite end of a table."

Round-Up: Gamasutra Network Jobs, Week Of September 30

September 30, 2011 4:00 PM | Eric Caoili

In the latest postings over the last seven days, Gamasutra's jobs board plays host to roles in every major discipline, including opportunities at Rovio, BackBone Entertainment, WayForward Technologies, and more.

Each position posted by employers will appear on the main Gamasutra job board, and appear in the site's daily and weekly newsletters, reaching our readers directly.

It will also be cross-posted for free across Gamasutra's network of submarket sites, which includes content sites focused alternative gaming news, independent games, and more.

Some of the notable jobs posted this week include:

Rovio Entertainment Ltd: Lead Game Programmer:
"Rovio is an entertainment media company based in Finland, and the creator of the globally successful Angry Birds franchise. Rovio was founded in 2003 as a mobile game development studio, and the company has developed several award-winning titles for various mobile platforms.

In 2009, Rovio released Angry Birds, a casual puzzle game for touchscreen smartphones that became a worldwide phenomenon from 2010 onwards. The Angry Birds games have enjoyed continuing worldwide chart success, and the franchise has since expanded to a variety of new business areas. Rovio is rapidly expanding its activities in broadcast media, merchandising, publishing and services."

Espgaluda II Adds Remastered Graphics, New Soundtrack For iPad 2

September 30, 2011 3:00 PM | Eric Caoili

Six months after releasing its bullet hell game Espgaluda II to iPhones and iPod Touches, shoot'em up specialist Cave has announced that an HD version is coming to the iPad 2 soon -- it's kind of a worrying trend that some high-profile games lately aren't supporting the original iPad, even though it's less than two years old.

Espgaluda II for iPad 2 will feature remastered, high-definition graphics (though backgrounds and some graphics are unchanged), as well as a new soundtrack for the Smartphone mode by Kenichi Fukui and Kay. Owners of the shmup's handset version will also get an update (presumably free) wtih the new music.

Furthermore, Cave revealed that it's breaking off the modes to release them as split versions. You'll still be able to buy "full versions" of Espgaluda II on iPad 2 and iPhone/iPod Touch, but Cave will now sell an "Arcade Version" and "Smartphone Version" for the individual modes in the games, likely at a cheaper price.

Goats vs. Nazis Could Be An NES Homebrew Game

September 30, 2011 1:00 PM | Eric Caoili

Yes, it's true, goats are the new zombies, stamping their hooved mark on a growing number of video games. We've got the goat battle in Dragon's Dogma, Jeff Minter's iOS platformer GoatUp, Magical Time Bean's Escape Goat, and now this NES homebrew project.

Former Big Fish Games/Monolith Productions artist Jim Welch wants to create Goats vs. Nazis -- a World War II-era top-down two-player action game in which "two fed-up farm goats (Tee and Jay) proceed to chew up the Third Reich from top to bottom".

The goats special powers? They can "eat helmets, guns, tin-cans, grass etc. to restore health and charge attacks". Welch intends to spend a year building seven levels, a password progress system, three difficulty levels, and a "jammin' NES chiptune soundtrack".

Before he can make this, though, he's hoping to raise $14,000 in Kickstarter, and is offereing some nice incentives to those who pledge: beta access to a two-level build months before the final release, in-game credits, 8x10 prints of the virtual boxart, and more.

Welch wants to digitally distribute Goats vs. Nazis' final NES ROM for free to everyone, but he is also considering a run of physical cartridges and mobile ports later. You have just two months to make this happen on Kickstarter!

Now Even Your G.I. Joes Can Be Taiko Drum Masters

September 30, 2011 11:00 AM | Eric Caoili


Those of you slowly building tiny, plastic arcades out of pieces from the Sega Taikan Game Collection and Hobbywave's upcoming Idolm@ster cabinet, will have another Japanese machine to add to your mini game center soon: a Taiko No Tatsujin setup complete with small drums.

Another release from Hobbywave's Memorial Game Collection series, this 1/12 scale model of a Taiko: Drum Master arcade cabinet comes with cards you can use to swap out the display image, and will release in Japan this december for ¥2,940 ($38).

Hobbywave could probably pick up some extra cash selling those drum sticks separately, because I can see myself losing those in seconds after dismantling them from the plastic frames.

[Via Arcade Heroes]

Persona 4 Anime To Debut Stateside Courtesy Sentai Filmworks

September 30, 2011 9:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Anime licensing company Sentai Filmworks announced that it has secured the rights to release Persona 4: The Animation in North America via retail and digital distribution.

Based on Atlus' 2008 RPG Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 (which will soon see a PSVita remake and a spinoff 2D fighter), Persona 4: The Animation will share the original game's art director Shigenori Soejima and composer Shoji Meguro. Episodes will be released for digital download "soon," with DVD and Blu-ray compilations to follow in 2012.

Plot details have not yet been revealed, but the anime will feature investigation team members Yosuke, Chie, and Yukiko, along with the player's character (known among fans as "MC," "Protagonist," or "Charlie Tunoku," if you've seen the Giant Bomb Endurance Run), who is named here as Yu Narukami.

I have only two hopes for the series: 1) that the dub will feature all of the game's original voice actors, and 2) that it will devote a majority of screentime to the best characters, Kanji and Teddie. The series is set to premiere in Japan on October 6th.

"Ninja Turtles" iOS App Is The Most Baffling Thing Ever

September 30, 2011 5:00 AM | Danny Cowan

Sweet, a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game is out for the iPhone and iPod Touch! Let's just head on over to the App Store and whoa whoa whoa wait what's going on here

Okay, so what you see above is Ninja Turtles, a...Cabal/NAM-1975-styled shooter (I suppose) that borrows its background from Contra for the NES. And is that explosion in the lower-left corner lifted from Metal Slug? Sure, why not.

While I can appreciate the unique approach in combining programmer-drawn character art with elements lifted -- almost certainly without permission -- from a variety of retro sources...what's the Ninja Turtles connection? Perhaps we'll never know. And for $4.99, I'm not curious enough to find out.

"This game makes no sense," a one-star App Store review notes. "I bought this game for my grandson, he loves the TMNT!! This game has no directions we can't figure out how to play, or even how to restart the game. There aren't any turtles in the game. A total waste of $5"

Amazingly, the game was approved for sale by Apple on August 18th, and has survived in the App Store for more than a month without anyone noticing or caring. That's probably about to change soon; while Ninja Turtles may no longer be available for purchase by the time you read this, the only thing you're missing out on is the description: "let's fight the enemy ninja turtles."

[via @rdb_aaa]

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